Knights and Knights of the Rose War era (part 2)

And now let's see how the knightly armor used in England from 1460 to 1485 looked all the same. By the way, this is not an easy task at all, since they are almost gone. Therefore, we have to rely on those graphic sources that have come down to our time since then in order to try to reconstruct them on this basis. Something, of course, was made in England itself, most likely in London, since the armor was needed a lot, but a lot of the armor of the most varied quality was exported from Flanders, as well as from Italy, as discussed in part one. Based on the sculptural image of the Fitz-Herbert knight, made around 1475, the artist Graham Turner presented how the most typical (and quite wealthy!) Rose knight dressed in Italian armor might look like.

Knights and Knights of the Rose War era (part 2)

Figure Graham Turner with the image of the English knight 1450 - 1500.

Let's start with plate shoes. “Sabatons” of his armor are made of overlapping strips, each of which is connected to the other with the help of a hinged-splined joint with a rivet. The Italian armor in this respect was distinguished by the presence of chain-weaved shoes. The knee pads were smaller than the Italian ones, and were made in the shape of a heart. The lower part of the cuirass was attached to the bib with the help of riveting, and not with a belt. "Besagu", or round shields covering the armpits, continued to be used, but on this armor Turner did not depict them. The wings of the elbow pads were then in the custom of making symmetrical.

Plate gloves are now also collected from plates riveted on the skin. Sometimes a reinforcing plate was placed on the left glove, since the shields were practically not used. Lats were made with grooved surfaces or if possible they tried to locate their parts at an angle. After 1470, the "tassets" began to partly overlap the abdominal instead of just hanging on its bottom edge. Around 1440, the English knights more and more often use a salad helmet, but differing in their appearance from the German helmet of this type.

The helmet is a salad, covered with a cloth and with stamped ornaments riveted over it. (National Pinakothek of Siena, Italy)

And now carefully consider the other details that Graham Turner depicted in this figure:

1. Sallet helmet, made around 1460 with hay lining, and consisting of lobed fragments, which were pulled together in the crown area with a cord. Accordingly, the lining was riveted to the rim of the helmet.
2. An important role was now played by the chinrest, or "bouviger", which also had a lining and was attached to the breastplate of the cuirass with laces or belts. Moreover, it was far from always worn along with a salad.
3. Necklace of the York dynasty with a pendant depicting a lion.
4. Pendant in the shape of a boar by Richard Gloucester.
5. Pollex - a hybrid of a war hammer, ax and spear. Around 1450
6. Shestoper. About 1470
7. "One-and-a-half-handed" sword with a hilt head of the "perfume bottle cork" type. Around 1450. The thin leather covering the hilt is covered with cord braid.
8. Fighting sword with a hilt head in the shape of a "fishtail".
9. Disassembled sword hilt. The tubular wooden handle was usually covered with leather, after which it was often wrapped with a braid of thin leather strips or wire.
10. "One and a half" sword with a hilt head of the "perfume bottle cork" type. Around 1450. The lower part of the handle is covered with leather.
11. Handle of a similar type. End of the XNUMXth century.
12. A broad-bladed battle sword and scabbard from a sculpture of Sir Robert Harcourt (died 1471) on a belt harness.

Note that the weight of such armor did not exceed 25-35 kg. They could run, jump and fight with the sword on foot. Although the armor itself was made of soft and orderly slag iron, which the smiths did not have at that time, they were strong enough to protect their wearer from sword strikes.

Knight 1475 - 1500 France. (Army Museum, Paris)

What they couldn’t protect it from was overheating! The armor made heat exchange difficult, so the body of a person dressed in such armor quickly overheated and the knight could fight a banal heat stroke, which, for example, happened to Henry V's cousin, the Duke of York, who was found dead on the battlefield of Azencourt, but without a single scratch on the body! Even when the metal of the armor outside was cold in the winter, it was still very hot under him and the knight was bothered by copious sweat, but by removing them, he risked catching a cold immediately from the cold if he didn’t have any changeable clothes under his arms!

“Battle of Barnet” (14, April 1471) - a miniature from a manuscript, end of the 15th century. (University of Ghent Library)

It is necessary to note the fact that the creators of the armor of the Rose War period paid much attention ... to the mobility of the shoulder girdle. Therefore, they preferred to make the cuirass not integral, but composite, consisting not of two, as we usually imagine, but of four parts: the two lower ones and, accordingly, the two upper ones. The upper ones were fastened with straps on the shoulders, under the shoulder pads, and under the arms, on the loops and straps. Lower - on the sides. Moreover, the upper and lower parts of the breastplate, without fail, came one upon the other, and the bottom always had to go behind the top and why, I think, that’s understandable. Between themselves, the parts of the cuirass were fastened in two ways - not the belts, which were located one in front, the other behind, and on rivets, which were located on the site of belt fasteners.

The Battle of Tewksbury (4 in May 1471) - a miniature from a manuscript, end of the 15th century. (University of Ghent Library)

Why was this needed? First, it turned out that the torso of a man was protected by spaced armor, and two layers of armor are always better than one! Secondly, there was an air gap between the sheets of armor and when moving through them due to the oscillations of the sheets of armor air leaks, that is, at least some ventilation was taking place not only from the head, but also the body. In addition, this, as already noted, increased the mobility of a warrior.

Again, the presence of four parts allowed us to dress two warriors in the armor at once! One was given the two upper parts of the cuirass, and the other - the lower two! It remained to wear them on the mail shirt, which the infantrymen usually did, and the warrior was already protected much better than if he would have had only one mail coat. That is, the money was paid for one set, and they were armed with - two!

French sword 1450 (Metropolitan Museum, New York).

Weapon knighthood remained at that time rather traditional, although the changes were undoubted. So the swords acquired a pronounced narrowing to the point and the rhombic shape of the blade. The length of some, according to Christopher Gravetta, reached 1.25 m, and they had not only a long blade, but also a corresponding elongated handle with a topping like a cork from a decanter. These swords are called "bastard" or "combat." Many such swords at this time received metal valves on the guard that did not allow water to get into the sheath. The middle part of the blade (ricasso) was not sharpened to the guard. This made it possible to take it with one hand and the other with the long handle and strike the enemy with a strong thrust that could penetrate his armor. And on the contrary, it was possible to take the blade-gloved hands with the blade and hit him with the hilt in the face, like a club, especially if he was wearing a barbut helmet, and the hilt of the hilt was discoid!

The battle scourge (or chain morgenstern) with a giant weight is a weapon for the master, as if misused to use it, it was easy to cripple. Replica.

Battle scourge with three weights. Replica.

As an auxiliary weapon, axes, six-axes and “war hammers” with a beak on the butt or on the end were used. A popular weapon of the English knights, who increasingly fought on foot, was Pollex, or a hybrid of an ax, a warhammer and a spear. The combat pommel was fastened on the pole with the help of metal strips or “langetov”, therefore it was impossible to cut it with either a sword or an ax. The hand holding Polleks was defended by a disc-Rondel, onto which it was quite possible to take the blow of the enemy’s sword slipping from the LANgets. Some of these axes had sawtooth blades. Less common was the alspice — a short spear with the same rondel disk at the tip and, often, at the handle, and a four-sided awl-like tip.

Pollex is a hybrid of the ax and the 1450 battle hammer. Length 208 cm. Weight 2,466 kg. (Metropolitan Museum, New York)

"War hammer with a beak." Germany, approx. 1440 g. (German historical Museum, Berlin)

A knight could not fight without a horse, then he simply would not have been a knight, although at that time many knights had already fought on foot more often than on horseback. A good warhorse, however, was very expensive. The largest and mighty was the “destination” - from the French “right”. Why was his name so? And the thing is that since the horse was a noble animal, his servant could lead only with his right hand. There is an assumption that the horses were trained to take a step with the right foot. Destriers were highly valued, but it was not easy to raise such a horse. They were fed and trained, they developed viciousness and endurance. However, although they were very strong and strong, strength and power did not mean slowness. Moreover, they had the ability to turn very quickly and quickly. Destriers were always stallions, and their natural evilness and aggressiveness was taken into account in their preparation, so that in battle, knightly horses could bite and kick the enemy's horses and beat their hooves with infantrymen.

Those who could not afford the destrier could go into battle on the “course” - also a rather expensive warhorse, but still slightly lower in rank. Well, for traveling, an arrogant horse with a smooth gait was needed - “half-freedom”. Of course, if the knight was rich, then he had a lot of different horses: the “destrie,” and the sled, and the war horses. For knightly servants - "jacks", they bought horses, called "runse," or "ronsons." Slaughter horses called "Hack" or "Hackney" lord bought for other servants or hired soldiers. In the campaign, the knight required both mules and draft horses in order to draw carts.

To be continued ...
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +8
    February 12 2018
    Italian (Milan) armor in the late Middle Ages was considered the best
    By right
  2. +9
    February 12 2018
    Respect to the author for the most interesting excursions on castles and deep articles on weapons! hi
  3. +18
    February 12 2018
    Interesting and clear
    Waited for the continuation
    Thank you!
  4. +19
    February 12 2018
    Excellent series of articles.
    In general, not much has been written about internecine wars of the Middle Ages. Unlike our historiography, take, for example, the peasant war of Bolotnikov.
    And they are very instructive - especially the behavior of the aristocracy.
    The weaponry system of chivalry is very interesting and beautiful. Functional and intuitive.
    We look forward to continuing
    1. +6
      February 12 2018
      Glad you are satisfied. Just the behavior of the aristocracy will be MANDATORY. About hiring, service and even treatment ...
      1. +18
        February 12 2018
        Yes, I really like your work.
        This is a classic of the genre hi
        Thank you, we will wait
        1. +4
          February 12 2018
          All this with links to sources is described in my book "The English-language historiography of knightly armament", published in Germany by Lambert. She is in Russian. True, there are no pictures there. And ... I'm afraid I recommend it to you. It really hurts, dear.
          1. +15
            February 13 2018
            Fresh book?
  5. +4
    February 12 2018
    Tell me, namely, about war horses can I make a separate article?
    I read somewhere that a normally raised stallion was no less dangerous than his rider. He kicked, put special spikes on the horseshoes, bite no worse than a Caucasian shepherd, just knocked him down with his mass.
    1. +7
      February 12 2018
      Will be! There is even a miniature, and I have it, where two knights fight with swords, and their horses hammer each other with their hooves!
  6. +18
    February 12 2018
    Learned interesting details
    How many things were there - coinage, Klevets, sixth ...
  7. +4
    February 12 2018
    I am tormented by vague doubts about this image - “War Hammer with a Beak.” Germany, circa 1440 (German Historical Museum, Berlin).

    From The Higgins Armory Museum (HAM#2005.01)
    German poleaxe of about 1440. Top spike length: 4 inches. Total length: 41 1/2 inches (possibly shortened). Weight: 3 pounds 8 ounces.
    The Higgins Armory Museum is a collection of Higgins in Worcester, already in the USA.
    1. +5
      February 12 2018
      The problem is that the Higgins Museum is now closed. But his collections are exhibited in exchange at various museums. So it may be that the photo was taken in a museum in Berlin, and this thing belongs to the Higgins Museum. I have already encountered this ...
      1. +3
        February 12 2018
        In 2013 or 2014, the Higgins Collection was acquired by the Worcester Museum of Art.
        1. +2
          February 12 2018
          I'll have to see. I have not been visiting them for a long time.
  8. +5
    February 12 2018
    Great article - thanks a lot.
  9. +5
    February 12 2018
    Thanks to the author, informative. In general, the topic of the armor of different peoples and armies of the world is very interesting.
  10. +4
    February 12 2018
    The fine armor of the outgoing knightly time, Karl the Bold of Burgundy, at that time, the Swiss infantry proved well that the time of the knightly cavalry is irrevocably passing, it is impossible to stop progress.
    1. +16
      February 12 2018
      And who is stronger - Swiss or Landsknecht?
      1. +5
        February 12 2018
        The Swiss paid more, they considered premium mercenaries, they were better organized and armed, and so the Landsknechts that the Swiss are mercenaries with their pluses and many minuses
        1. +16
          February 12 2018
          I also read that their tactics were different
          The big ones were antagonists guys
          1. +4
            February 12 2018
            Only memory was left of the Landsknechts, and it’s not very good, and the Swiss to this day serve apparently in vain in the guard of the Pope.
    2. +1
      February 14 2018
      Quote: polpot
      The fine armor of the outgoing knightly time, Karl the Bold of Burgundy, at that time, the Swiss infantry proved well that the time of the knightly cavalry is irrevocably passing, it is impossible to stop progress.

      He tried to imagine the Swiss battle on the battlefields of the Roses. I’m not sure that I’m right to the end, but it seems to me that such a formation could determine the outcome of the overwhelming number of military clashes. A tactical advantage, in any case, would provide a serious one.
      But if you vote in the nomination "the best commander and the best army of the 15th century," I will probably vote for Jan ижižka and his taborites.
  11. +2
    February 12 2018
    The action of the movie The Adventures of Quentin Dorward, the shooter of the royal guard, is suitable for the described period. Who is special, will appreciate an armor removed there!
  12. +1
    February 13 2018
    Thanks to the author, very interesting. Only one question, the article says that the steel from which the armor was made was slag, and the swords were also made of the same steel? If so, how did this affect their strength and durability?
    And further. Do you have any plans for the future in the same detailed way to describe antique armor and weapons?
    1. +2
      February 13 2018
      Quote: Comrade
      Thanks to the author, very interesting. Only one question, the article states that the steel from which the armor was made was with slag

      Steel, can not be slag. In the process of smelting metal, slag is induced on its surface for cleaning. For this, lime is most often used, which takes harmful elements into itself - sulfur and phosphorus. Dear author, apparently meant a poorly purified metal. In the manufacture of blades, higher-quality steel was used, which, thanks to repeated forging (forging welding) and heat treatment, was significantly strengthened.
      1. +2
        February 13 2018
        In those days, during the production of iron, there was no talk of any “slag guidance on the surface”. Before pudding, it was 300 years old.
  13. +1
    February 13 2018
    The second miniature is very interesting. In addition to the usual "profile" figures, an equestrian full-face figure is depicted. As I understand it, this is one of the first attempts to give the picture "volume"
    And why in the opposing troops are knights painted with different color spears? Does this carry any kind of semantic load?

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"